Hope was my first Lavender Orpington, I loved the breed and have a tendency to buy all of the same breed, I had planned on buying a whole flock of Blue Laced Red Wyandottes this year (2012) but thought for a moment, what other breed or color would I like to see with them, I soon decided that I wouldn't mind having some Blue Cochin, and Lavender Orpingtons to look at and compliment the nice dark red and slate grey/blue of the wyandottes I had planned on having.

My very first try at incubation was with a 16 egg batch of Foley line BLRW's, the man who sold them told me he was sure that they where fertile and even had been hatching them himself at his house. The whole batch failed, and when I started opening the eggs after deciding that not one of them had veining, I came to find out, not one was fertile.

I was very bummed out.

I decided to try again, this time buying hatching eggs from a seller on this site all the way across the country. I bought, 9 Lavender Orpington's, 2 BLRW's, and one single Blue Cochin egg.

By the time we got to lock down, I ended up with 6 eggs, 5 where lavenders, and my single blue cochin egg.

I desperately wanted the blue cochin to hatch since it was my only egg of that breed, but I was honestly happy that after my first try ANY had even made it to lock down.

Hatch day came, at 1:05pm I watched in front of my very eyes, my first ever baby pip. But only one single very lonely pip. I couldn't wait to watch the egg and all the others start hatching. How exciting...! (at this point I still had no idea some eggs pip but never zip)

More then 12 hours later, I took it upon myself to PM a certain member, (you know who you are) and ask her if she would be willing to help me with my hatch and how concerned I was about the single pipped egg.

Almost 24 hours and with no progress I decided maybe I should take the egg out and help the pip to make sure the chick could breathe, I took the egg out, and opened a small piece of shell. I could see the membrane covering the chicks beak and it was being sucked in and out when the chick was trying to breathe, I grabbed it and pulled it over the chicks beak and nostrils, the chick calmed its breathing and I felt it could finally stop struggling and fighting to breathe and now be able to rest to make the rest of the way out of the egg.

The chick finally hatched. I decided to name her Hope.

My one single baby.

She is my love, my first baby, and like a mother hen I am so proud to have her and I am the one blessed with being able to have her in my life, not the other way around.

I am very thankful for my chick, and the member who helped me, email after email she walked me through every question I had, every concern and kept me thinking about things I wouldn't have to improve my flock over all. This has been one of the best learning experience I have had in my life yet...... not only did I get a wonderful chick out of my first real hatch, but also someone I can look up to, ask questions, get answers, and chat with.

I would like to say a big THANK YOU to my new friend, and all the BYC.com members who have helped me along my journey to owning chickens.

Here are some pictures of my perfect, beautiful, HOPE.